Salah hits screamer as Liverpool down Chelsea

Mohamed Salah scored his 22nd goal of the season for Liverpool against Chelsea
Mohamed Salah scored his 22nd goal of the season for Liverpool against Chelsea

Mohamed Salah scored one of the best goals of the Premier League season as Liverpool overcame Chelsea to retake top spot from Manchester City.

There had been few clear chances in the match until Sadio Mane headed home in the 51st minute following a slick move.

Two minutes later Anfield erupted again when Salah fired a 25-yard angled effort into the top right corner.

Eden Hazard twice went close for the Blues, first with a shot that hit the post and another saved by Alisson.

Earlier, City beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at Selhurst Park to briefly lead the Reds by one point.

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Chelsea, who had been unbeaten at Anfield since 2012, almost hit back six minutes later when Eden Hazard shot against the post before the Belgian saw another effort saved by goalkeeper Alisson.

But Liverpool could have extended their lead before an exultant Kop greeted the final whistle with roars of delight and Jurgen Klopp punched the air after his 200th game in charge.

Manchester City, 3-1 winners at Crystal Palace in Sunday’s other match, still have a game in hand on the Reds, but with games at home to Tottenham and away to Manchester United among their five remaining fixtures, their task looks tougher than the one facing Liverpool, who meet Cardiff, Huddersfield, Newcastle and Wolves.

Chelsea remain fourth, a point behind Tottenham, who have a game in hand on their London rivals. Maurizio Sarri’s side could also be overtaken by sixth-placed Arsenal, who are three points behind them, when they face Watford on Monday.

Salah strikes back against former employers

Salah, who played for Chelsea when they beat Liverpool in that infamous game in 2014, was the hosts’ most dangerous outlet, and could have given them an early lead when his back-post volley was well saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The Egyptian, who was cheered even more loudly than usual by the Kop after being the subject of discriminatory abuse in a video posted by Chelsea fans last week, also squared to Mane seven minutes before half-time but the Senegalese forward curled wide from 10 yards out.

It looked like it might be a frustrating afternoon for Salah, who was well marshalled by Chelsea left-back Emerson in the first half. But Liverpool’s talisman showed his tenacity to win the ball back before Jordan Henderson clipped across the six-yard box to find Mane for the game’s opener.

And the shot that doubled the hosts’ lead will live long in the memory as one of Anfield’s great goals. Not only was it sublime in its execution, but it was hugely significant in the title race, showing Liverpool are not the same side as five years ago.

Coming on the day the club marked the 30th anniversary of Hillsborough, the victory gave home fans a huge lift on an emotional afternoon.

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